When President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the Mining Indaba this week, the first sitting president to do so, it was a historic moment in more ways than one. Sitting in the packed halls were three former general secretaries of the National Union of Mineworkers - Ramaphosa himself, who founded the NUM in the 1980s, Frans Baleni and Gwede Mantashe, who is now minister of mineral resources and who has made an unprecedented six appearances at the indaba.The Investing in African Mining Indaba was very different to last year's event, when then mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane was clearly on his way out and neither he nor anyone else in the government were much in evidence. This time, the government was very much there, pushing a consistent message of wanting to engage and work together to grow the industry, make it more competitive and attract investment. It signed a "mining leadership compact" with business and labour. "The focus has changed to get the industry growing agai...

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